JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida voters would get a chance to decide whether to ban reparations for descendants of slaves in 2024 under a joint resolution filed in the Florida Senate.
The joint resolution (SJR-582) filed by State Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) would prohibit the state and local governments from paying reparations to the descendants of people who were enslaved prior to the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
Ingoglia argued it was meant to prevent slavery reparations from gaining traction in the Sunshine State.
“Slavery reparations aren’t the answer. It’s investing in Black and brown communities on things like education, infrastructure, and opportunities and that’s what I think we should be talking about,” said Ingoglia.
State Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) on the other hand, pointed out there have been no serious efforts, or even any bills filed, seeking to implement slavery reparations in Florida.
“It’s simply a bill to rile up the base so they can raise money and they can distract from their failing leadership in Tallahassee,” said Nixon.
Ingoglia countered, that there have been bills filed at the national level and in other states like California pushing for reparations.
By putting a ban into the state constitution, he argued it would stifle any future efforts to do the same here in Florida.
“Bad ideas that are proposed in other states seem to work its way into other states such as Florida. This is a proactive way of making sure that we take the prospect of slavery reparations off the table,” said Ingoglia.
But Nixon argued Republicans’ time would be better spent focusing on issues currently impacting Floridians’ pocketbooks and quality of life.
“This property insurance crisis, this auto insurance crisis, the fact that our schools are hemorrhaging teachers, and the fact that people can no longer afford Florida,” said Nixon.
If the joint resolution is passed by supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, 60% of Floridians would still have to vote yes next November, for the reparations ban to make it into the constitution.
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